Within a year of the eviction in Barisal, illegal structures have once again been built on the roadside land. Traffic congestion has also increased in the city. The locals are complaining that these lands have gone to the hands of the occupiers under the umbrella of the influential people.
To reduce the suffering of traffic congestion, in October last year, the administration evicted the illegal structures like seven thousand on the roadside in Sagardi, Rupatali and Dapadapia areas of Barisal city. About 30 acres of land was recovered.
However, within a year, illegal structures have been built again on most of the land. Traffic congestion has also returned. Locals complain that within a few days of eviction under the umbrella of influential people, illegal structures were built on the roads.
A local resident said that the main task of the traffic department is to relieve congestion. However, traffic is severely disrupted due to the illegal constructions on the roadside. The bus drivers who are there are not able to keep up with time. There is no way forward with the car. Soon after the eviction, the land next to the road was occupied again.
In this context, Kawsar Hossain Shipon, general secretary of Barisal Road Transport Owners’ Association, said, ‘We arrange for evictions from the bus owners’ association again and again. But local councilors and influential people took back the evicted land. They collect regular subscription from these shops. We and the passengers are in danger. There is no opportunity to serve the passengers.’
The road department is responsible for maintaining the land after the eviction, says the district administration. And the road department says that it is not possible to stop the illegal encroachers without everyone’s cooperation.
Barisal District Commissioner Shahidul Islam said that the district administration will provide all assistance in rescuing the land of any government institution or department from illegal encroachers. However, those whose land is recovered will also have to do the next steps so that the land does not go into illegal possession again.
In this regard, the supervising engineer of Barisal road department. Masud Khan said, ‘Barisal’s 1600 km road alone is not possible for us to supervise. It needs everyone’s help. However, if it is proved that someone from the road department is involved behind the occupation again after the eviction, strict action will be taken.